Six Recipes to Make With Sweet Summer Tomatoes

Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter

Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter
(Makes 6 servings)

This is the simplest of all sauces to make, and none has a purer, more irresistibly sweet tomato taste. I have known people to skip the pasta and eat the sauce directly out of the pot with a spoon.—Marcella Hazan
2 pounds fresh, ripe tomatoes, (see note), or 2 cups canned imported Italian plum tomatoes, cut up, with their juice

5 tablespoons butter

1 medium onion, peeled and cut in half

Salt

1 to 1 ½ pounds pasta

Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano for the table

This is an unsurpassed sauce for potato gnocchi, but it is also delicious with factory-made pasta in such shapes as spaghetti, penne, or rigatoni. Serve with grated Parmesan.

Put either the prepared fresh tomatoes or the canned in a saucepan, add the butter, onion, and salt, and cook uncovered at a very slow, but steady simmer for 45 minutes, or until the fat floats free from the tomato. Stir from time to time, mashing any large piece of tomato in the pan with the back of a wooden spoon. Taste and correct for salt. Discard the onion before tossing the sauce with pasta.

NOTE: To blanch the tomatoes for sauce: Plunge the tomatoes in boiling water for a minute or less, drain them and, as soon as they are cool enough to handle, skin them, and cut them up in coarse pieces.

(From Marcella Hazan’s “Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking.”)